ABUJA, NIGERIA: As the world marks the 2021 World Cancer Day, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, has urged Nigerians to rededicate and commit themselves to the fight against cancer, which is the second leading cause of death worldwide.
This is just as she noted, that fighting cancer cannot be done by standing alone, but by Nigerians coming together in all of their actions and interventions to address the challenges of cancer in the country.
The Minister who was represented by the Director, Women Development, Funke Oladipo, at a Walk and Run to commemorate 2021 World Cancer Day, organised by the Women in ICT on Thursday, said that 70 percent of the 9.6 million cancer deaths occur in developing countries due to lack of awareness and resources to diagnose and manage the sickness.
According to her, “Cancer in Nigeria is assuming an alarming proportion as recent statistics on female cancer such as breast, cervix, liver etc., has shown an upsurge of cancer in women.
“However, findings revealed that cancers are preventable as early diagnosis of cancer can save lives. Therefore, education is paramount to ensure fall in incidence rates in Nigeria”, she said.
She further noted that awareness creation should also be targeted at the male gender, as the number of women suffering from prostate cancer, colon cancer and other forms of cancer have increased in recent times.
While appreciating and urging the Women in ICT to continue raising awareness and educating men and women about cancer, she called on relevant government bodies, CSOs, donor partners, private organizations and individuals to raise their collective voices and take personal action to show their support for a healthier future for cancer patients and survivors.
For her part, the President, Women in ICT, Dr. Chinwe Anyachebelu said their aim is to detect and protect lives as the rate of death from cancer is alarming, disclosing also that the walk was in honour of the group’s former president who died of breast cancer.
She stressed that early detection is very important, and appealed to the public to visit hospitals for regular check-up.
“You might not be necessarily sick before you go to the hospital, you can just walk into the hospital to do a proper check-up routine. Our aim is to save millions of lives, sensitize people and let them know that this thing called cancer is real.
She added also that her organization uses technology and social media to sensitize Nigerians on cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer mortality can be reduced if cases are detected and treated early.